Report finds apps regularly ‘spy on users’

Apps on Apple and Android smartphones leak lots of users’ information to third parties, research has suggested.
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard, and Carnegie-Mellon universities studied 110 apps available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.
They found 73% of the Android apps shared users’ email addresses, and 47% of the iOS apps shared location data.
Privacy International said it was more evidence of how devices “betray us”.
The study, Who Know What About Me? A Survey of Behind the Scenes Personal Data Sharing to Third Parties by Mobile Apps, tested 55 of the most popular Android apps and the same number of iOS apps.
The researchers recorded the HTTP and HTTPS traffic that occurred while using the different apps and looked for transmissions that included personally identifiable information, behavioural data such as search terms and location data.
They found the Android apps sent sensitive data to 3.1 third-party domains, on average, while the iOS apps connected to 2.6.
The Android apps were more likely to share personal information such as name (49% of the apps) and address (25%) than the iOS apps, where 18% shared names and 16% shared email addresses.


Read More: Report finds apps regularly ‘spy on users’ – BBC News